How to Get Back into a Kayak After It Has Capsized

04/03/2019

Kayaking is such a fun activity. It is full of wonderful opportunities that allow you to experience nature, whether you are running fast on a river or sitting still on a lake. While it can bring you a lot of enjoyment on your day out, it can also be a bit scary once your kayak capsizes. This event can be daunting, especially if you are a beginner.

So, what do you do get back in? Luckily, this post is intended to help you learn how to get back into a kayak after it has flipped over. After all, you have your kayak in the water and at some point, it will eventually flip over, dumping you into that water. Knowing what do in case this happens will save your life. If you are curious, then keep on reading.

The Type of Kayak Are You Riding

As the accidental flipping over of a kayak happens to almost every kayaker, this should not worry you so much. Besides, the unplanned swim could be considered a part of your kayaking trip. For that matter, it is essential that you are informed of the ways on how to get back in your kayak safely and quickly. But first, we need to discuss the type of kayak you’re riding.

The type of kayak you’re riding makes an important difference in the likelihood of you flipping over. This factor also distinguishes what kind of technique is suitable for you. To make you see things a bit clearer, we have highlighted the important differences between these two kinds of kayak, as well as what to do in case the kayak flips over.

Sit-on Kayak

Sit-on kayaks, generally, are used for recreation, especially because it features a spacious beam, which makes it challenging to flip over. In addition, you are sitting on top of it instead of in it. This would also mean that the gravity’s center is higher, making the kayak vulnerable to capsizing because of sudden changes in weight. It is normally easy to get back in this type of kayak, as you won’t be able to find any internal space, as well as a spray skirt. It is also easier to get back in of because you can have your legs placed in no time.

Sit-in Kayak

For starters, sit-in kayaks may seem more vulnerable to capsizing. This is because of your body’s position inside the kayak’s hull. The gravity’s center is lower, making it more challenging for your kayak to flip over, especially through the sudden motions made by your body. Typically, there is a lot more stressing issues, especially when you capsize in this type of kayak than the previous type of kayak. This is true, especially if there is an attached spray skirt, which you need to take into account when you exit the kayak. This type of kayak also takes on a considerable amount of water, which would mean that it is required that you bail out your kayak before you reenter.

How to Get Back into a Kayak

Sit-on Kayak

What you need to do first is to get ahold of your paddle and swim where your capsized kayak is. You may also have to kick your legs while pushing your torso, then, grab the kayak’s hull. While you are holding the hull, you may need to situate your knees back up while you lean backward. Doing this makes the weight of your body pull your kayak over until the hull’s shape takes over. This is where your kayak rights itself.

The major advantage of riding a sit-on kayak, as discussed, is that it does not need to bail in the event of a capsize. In case this happens, you just need to be pushing your upper body towards the kayak’s hull. However, this time, you need to let your legs float behind you rather than situating your knees up while leaning back.

When your body is level with the water, the kayak is less vulnerable to capsizing. You may also pull your body onto your kayak until you’re flat. You’ll know when you’re flat if the center of gravity is already in the middle of your kayak. When you feel that you are stable, you may now try rolling your body until you have your back on the seat. Finally, try swinging your legs up.

Sit-in Kayak

When you have successfully exited this type of kayak, you need to secure the paddle and swim towards the kayak’s side while you grab the far edge of the kayak’s cockpit. You may also need to kick your legs for thrust while pushing up using your arms. Doing this will flip your kayak back up and in the opposite direction. If you do this using the appropriate exertion of force, this action will push your kayak to a point wherein the hull’s curve will take over; thus, righting the kayak by itself.

Once you have righted your kayak back up, reach and get ahold of the far end of the kayak’s hull. Like on the previous type of kayak, allow your legs to float and when your body is on the same level as the water’s surface, pull yourself back onto the kayak.

However, this may get a bit tricky. Once you have laid across the kayak, it is required that you try flipping your body while sliding your legs back into the kayak’s cockpit. This action is very important before your back returns to the seat. Once you are in, you are likely to sit in water, probably an inch or two. What you can do is to bail it out with a bilge pump or sponge. You may also rush back to shore to get rid of the water.

Tips on How to Get Back in Your Kayak

Tips on How to Get Back in Your Kayak

Via: https://www.pinterest.com

  • Stay calm. Panicking will only put you in danger because you will not be able to concentrate.
  • Your position is likely to cause you to fall sideways. If you have fully inverted into the water, try swimming a few feet away to prevent you from banging your head on your kayak as you try to come up.
  • Keep hold of the paddle, as it can be a handy floatation help for you. You may get yourself into a difficult situation if your paddle floats away.

Conclusion

Your kayak flipping over may be a bigger deal than it is, but to tell you the truth, it is very normal among kayakers. Probably the worst part is that you need to paddle back home with your clothes drenched in water. With this guide and the additional tips we have provided, we hope that you have learned all the techniques on how to back on your kayak.

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